New to Lager - has it gone pear-shaped?

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willhyde

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Hi Folks,

I brewed up a Mangrove Jacks Munich Lager kit last Tuesday using two packs of Saflager S-23 and 1kg of light DME. I rehydrated the yeast at 20C and pitched into 20C wort, then put into the brewing fridge which took it down to 12C (as recommended on the fermentis website for this yeast) over a few hours, and it's been at 12C all week. Within 24 hours there was quite a lot of activity, and it was bubbling away happily until the weekend.

I was planning on doing a diacetyl rest at around day 7-8, but noticed yesterday (day 6) that there was no bubbling. The gravity seems to have stabilised at 1.020, and I decided today to raise the temp for the diacetyl rest anyway, and hope there are still some yeast active in there... it's slowly on its way up to 17C, and now I'm wondering if that was the way to go.

Should I have left it longer, despite the SG having apparently stopped dropping? Should I have tried to restart fermentation, just stirring, or repitching maybe? Was the d-rest the right thing to try...?

The samples taken so far taste fine (no off flavours), although there's a hint of sweetness from the unfermented sugars, still drinkable though, so it seems it will be salvageable regardless.

So if the SG remains at 1.020 after say 48 hours, will I need to rescue the yeast before lagering?

On a side-note, while it tastes like a generic lager, it is a bit bland (yeah yeah I know, what do I expect from a kit, but I've got an over-active one year old son and a million DIY jobs to finish, so it was a mega-quick brew or no brew). Worth dry-hopping? I'm thinking maybe 14g of hallertau when I rack to secondary for lagering. Will that work, or will 6 weeks or so be too long (don't want to open it up to remove the hops mid-lager if I can help it).

Cheers for any advice.

Will
 

yum beer

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If you are woried about playing around with the brew too much fordry hopping, try steeping your hops in 1/2 litre of boiled water for about 15 mins, strain this into your secondary and rack onto it,
will give a nice amount of flavour without opening your primary.

*note, opening the primary to add dry hops is common practice and fine if you still have a few gravity points to drop so the co2 blows off anything wrong that gets in.
 

labels

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Push the temperature to 18C - 20C for a 3-4 days and that should finish off fermentation quite well as well as ridding diacetyl should there be any present.

As for dry hopping, it's not usual to dry hop a lager and it could be something you might regret. It could quite easily have an overpowering effect on the light style and end up tasting like a light lager with grass clippings. Noble hop varieties are noted for grassy flavours when used fordry hopping or used in largish quantities as late additions in the boil (mainly for all-grain brewers)

If you do decide to dry hop and it does end up tasting grassy, don't despair - time is your friend and the grassy flavours slowly dissipate over time, you just got to be patient.

-=Steve=-
 

willhyde

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Cheers guys, I'll see if there's any further this morning and take another SG reading this evening to see if there's been any movement since raising the temp.

As for dry hopping, maybe I'll just keep tasting the samples and make the call when I rack to secondary. Might be a better choice to leave this one as is, and maybe experiment with future brews.

Will
 

JDW81

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WillH said:
As for dry hopping, maybe I'll just keep tasting the samples and make the call when I rack to secondary. Might be a better choice to leave this one as is, and maybe experiment with future brews.

Will
Also bear in mind that it is only early days, the beer is less than two weeks old. Give it time and flavours will develop, mellow and change somewhat. If you bottle condition there will also be a level of flavour change that occurs as the bottles carb up. I'm with steve on the dry hopping, leave it as is and keep it as a nice easy drinking lawn mower beer.

JD
 

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